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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 30 Jun 2014 (Monday) 23:43
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I hoard photos -- how do you decide which to keep/delete?

 
stanwelks
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Jun 30, 2014 23:43 |  #1

I take lots of photos that I never end up doing anything with. I just took a few hundred photos of my dog running/playing that ended up being over 2GB. I end up storing everything into my Light Room catalog, and I tag the photos so I can find them easily later. This had me thinking, how do you decide which photos you keep and those that you get rid of? I immediately delete blurry pics, or those of people with eyes closed, not smiling, etc.

I'm referring to photos that I seem to hoard that I likely do not need. I understand that everyone has their own criteria, I'm just curious to hear what yours is, and the thought process that you go through when deciding to keep/delete photos.

Thanks.




  
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Nissanfairladyz32
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Jul 01, 2014 00:01 |  #2

stanwelks wrote in post #17004456 (external link)
I take lots of photos that I never end up doing anything with. I just took a few hundred photos of my dog running/playing that ended up being over 2GB. I end up storing everything into my Light Room catalog, and I tag the photos so I can find them easily later. This had me thinking, how do you decide which photos you keep and those that you get rid of? I immediately delete blurry pics, or those of people with eyes closed, not smiling, etc.

I'm referring to photos that I seem to hoard that I likely do not need. I understand that everyone has their own criteria, I'm just curious to hear what yours is, and the thought process that you go through when deciding to keep/delete photos.

Thanks.

I usually keep all my raws on an external hard-drive from photo-shoots

But for personal pictures if i were to go shoot 200+ pictures of a dog or something i may keep the best few, and i do the same about deleting out of focus or shots that are not sharp or don't impress me


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tonylong
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Jul 01, 2014 00:16 |  #3

Heh! This is a fairly common subject with no "cut and dry" answer, except "it depends"!

But, to check out what other people think and do (while you are waiting for people to chime in), scroll down to the bottom of this page and check the "Similar Threads" section. Note that your title had key words that triggered a forum "mini-search" and brought up, well, similar threads, check 'em out!


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MattPharmD
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Jul 01, 2014 08:12 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #4

For me it depends on what the subject is.

If it is an "artistic" photo (street, architecture, landscape, etc) I usually keep the technically good ones. I have gone back several times an seen something new in a photo I took months ago (or years ago).

If it is a family thing (my daughter or grandfather especially) I cull the worthless ones (completely OoF, unrecognizable, horrible exposure) and the duplicates and keep everything that is semi in focus. I assume that each of these is unique and I can bring myself to delete these photos just in case. I am beginning to get to find other solutions as my photos are about 400GB of space now. I have move to external hard drives and am looking for a cloud solution I trust.

For everything else, I keep the best and delete (raw and all) the rest.


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LV ­ Moose
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Jul 01, 2014 08:47 as a reply to  @ MattPharmD's post |  #5

I find it best to cull right away. If you wait for days, weeks, or months, it's a real pain.

You've got LR; it's easy to flag for deletion the ones obviously OOF, or have poor composition, light, etc. Then I rate them by stars; the ones I might keep for posting or printing, with one star. Then after I go through them again and crop for composition, I'll give two stars to the ones making the second cut. Then I'll process them, and if I still have too many, do some side-by-side comparisons, adding more stars to the ones I really want.

In the end, I can delete any without at least 3 stars.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jul 01, 2014 09:46 |  #6

Upon downloading my images to the hard drive I trash everything that is quite obviously bad: the out of focus, the badly exposed, the cut off limbs, etc. Then in Lightroom I zoom in 100% (yes, I'm a pixel peeper) and everything that is in perfect focus gets 1 star. The pictures without a star are then trashed. So now I am left with technically sound pics and the next thing is to pick the best of them.

I shoot birds mostly and often you shoot a series of a bird in pretty much the same pose. So now I pick the best pics of these series of shots. The best in terms of composition, pose, head turn, the kind of action, you name it. The ones getting picked are now getting 2 stars. Of these the very best are chosen and given 3 stars. These are the pics that will be processed. When processed and ready to be uploaded to ipernity, I remove the stars and give them a green label.

The pics that received one star are being trashed now while the processed pics together with the pics that received two stars are now being stored on a number of external drives. So basically, I only keep what I consider the best of the best.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 02, 2014 00:11 |  #7

stanwelks wrote in post #17004456 (external link)
I take lots of photos that I never end up doing anything with. I just took a few hundred photos of my dog running/playing that ended up being over 2GB. I end up storing everything into my Light Room catalog, and I tag the photos so I can find them easily later. This had me thinking, how do you decide which photos you keep and those that you get rid of? I immediately delete blurry pics, or those of people with eyes closed, not smiling, etc.

I'm referring to photos that I seem to hoard that I likely do not need. I understand that everyone has their own criteria, I'm just curious to hear what yours is, and the thought process that you go through when deciding to keep/delete photos.

Thanks.

I don't delete anything.




  
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BioSci
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Jul 02, 2014 11:21 |  #8

Clean Gene wrote in post #17006534 (external link)
I don't delete anything.

Me neither. I have about 750GB of images taken with my 7D over the last 3 years, and this is backed up in no less than 4 places, for a whopping total of 3TB of data. However, I can buy a 3TB drive for just over $100, about the price I'd pay for a nice dinner with the wife, so storing these images is inconsequential.


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LV ­ Moose
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Jul 02, 2014 12:44 as a reply to  @ BioSci's post |  #9

For me, the issue of keeping all my images isn't the space, it's the hassle of slogging through them when I want to go back at some later date to find a good one of a certain subject/event. If you just keep the "keepers" it's a lot easier.


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AZGeorge
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Jul 02, 2014 13:07 |  #10

With both remote and local storage available to me for years I didn't cull anything that that had any possible value. That made finding what I wanted a major pain even with good indexing habits. Want three hundred shorebird shots taken on a particular morning? How about two hundred mountain scenes from early evening in December 20th, 2010? No problem.

The problem, of course, was wading through the the hundreds of shots. Argh!

For the last two years I've adopted two anti-hording actions:

  • The big one is a change in attitude. Unless I'm doing a shoot to make a record, all files are deleted unless they prove themselves otherwise. That's hard for me to do but has produced excellent results so far. Deleting many files makes the others stand out.
  • When a shot looks really special it not only gets to live another day but is marked with multiple stars in Bridge and the CR2 copied to a Really Good Stuff folder.

Before becoming the manic killer of files I spent a few months starring keepers in Bridge and filtering out the rest.

George
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gjl711
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Jul 02, 2014 13:30 |  #11

I'm a cleaner. I have no issue dumping images I'm not happy with. Ones that have a technical imperfection are easy, they never last but a few moments. Then there are the duplicates, images of the same thing but different settings and such. I generally pick the couple best ones and dump the rest. As Moose says, slogging through a bunch of images days or weeks after a shoot is a pain.


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maverick75
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Jul 02, 2014 13:37 |  #12

I don't deleter any of them, HDs are so cheap. I never toss any of my negatives away either.


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dustyporch
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Jul 02, 2014 13:43 |  #13

"It depends" is my answer... :) But I'll tell you what I would do in this situation.

If I was out shooting a dog running around, I would have used burst mode and produced a lot of similar shots in my 200. I would import all to LR, keyworded and converted to DNG.

Then I'd go through looking for obvious winners (good action, sharp. Pick), and losers (OOF, bad exposure etc, X-reject). I might multi-select a bursted set and use Survey view to help pick the best of that set.

Then I would display just the Picked photos. I would expect to only have maybe 5 here... if there were more, I'd knock some out. My goal would be to get down to 2-3 shots that I think are the best, which I would then fully edit/post.

I would then show only Rejected photos, and would delete them all. In this situation though (many similar burst mode shots), I would probably select ALL non-picked photos and delete them too. Just keep my winners...

In a model shoot or a landscape situation, I might keep the non-rejected/non-picked photos too... That would depend!


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groundloop
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Jul 02, 2014 14:10 |  #14

Delete Delete Delete.

Here's the way I look at it.... if I keel over dead tomorrow and my wife and kids are going through my hard drive looking at everything I'd want them to realize what great shots I had instead of thinking 'why the hell does he still have those crappy photos?'. NOBODY cares about seeing 23 shots of my dog in the back yard from any given day, but they might be impressed with the 1 or 2 best photos from that group.




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Jul 02, 2014 14:51 as a reply to  @ groundloop's post |  #15

^ that's good thinkin'


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I hoard photos -- how do you decide which to keep/delete?
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